Self Care in Academia

Image Source: Rebecca Giansante

There are so many aspects to self care that it’s not possible to thoroughly cover the subject in one article. Therefore, I’ve chosen a specific place to focus on where self care can be tough to maintain and practice. The place I’ve chosen to cover is school, specifically college.  

As a student, who really has the time to practice self care while at school? To bother to take a moment to ourselves while dealing with back to back classes and having to rush across campus in a span of as little as five minutes? Scheduling can be the key to allowing time for self care, and finding a schedule that works for you is in itself self care as well.

One thing that you can do is to try and have a decent cushion of time between your classes. I know this one may be difficult as the number of requirements needed to graduate decreases, but it’s worth a shot all the same, to give yourself a cushion to go for a walk, eat, or simply kick back somewhere.

However, everyone is different, so if you’re a commuter, especially one who drives quite a distance, you may want to try to go to campus as few days as possible. You may end up with a crunched schedule, but for someone like me, I need “buffer days” to give myself a chance to breathe and have days dedicated only to homework. A tight schedule three days a week may be less exhausting than a lax schedule five days a week. It all depends on what works best for you.

Above all, make use of the services offered by your school. If you have test anxiety, extra time may be offered through the services for students who have such unfortunate setbacks (like myself). Believe me, this reduces so much stress and relieves many of the problems related to stress, like headaches and insomnia.

It’s hard to keep an academic life balanced with your mental needs and limits. The best thing is to know what works and what doesn’t work for you.  Try to keep your schedule and habits working accordingly with your needs. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help from student services or even a classmate. Chances are whoever you’re talking to is trying to maintain a schedule that allows them to care of themselves as well.